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  #1  
Old 03-09-2007
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Help! My survey is done!...

Hey guys,...

So, the Survey of the Catalina just got finished. And I need some helpful advice from you experienced boat buyers

Here's the boat again for those who haven't been following my first time boat buying experience: http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...g_id=1984&url=)


As most of you said, the boat's in great shape on the outside. And on the inside.

However, there are quite a few things which need to be changed in order to be compliable with the law or to even get insurance.

1. Propane heater has to be taken out. Too dangerous and wouldnt get insurance.

2. New running lights(the old ones are out of date, do not meet international standards, would not get insurance coverage for the boat with just those ones)

3. electric LPG switch for propane stove has to be implemented, right now it's just a screw off/on for the propane tank that controls the whole propane deal

4. Propane hose from the tank to the stove has to be replaced with an adequate hose(the type that won't catch fire), the current one isn't meant for propane.

5. Batteries don't have socks to cover the terminals. And they are just automotive batteries, not marine batteries, they are also not tied down properly. They also do not have acid proof containers, which I would have to install.

6. Needs new fire-extinguishers

7. Needs a flare kit

8. Needs to VHF radio. Current one works but really old and has a car speaker wired to it to be able to work(the previous owner was a bit of a "do it myself handi- man)

So that's it.

Now, the surveyor's main comments were "You're paying way too much for this boat" After he checked the market data, he came up with a fair market value of $7,800 for the boat. My intial offer was $12,000

The boat over all is in "average" condition. Which is to be expected of a boat that has been sitting at the dock for 3 years.

The gelcoat on the hull also needs a bit of TLC. There is a pee like yellowy tint on it, which I was told was caused by just sitting in the salt water for so long and comes out with some products, or even vinager.


My questions:

1. Do you guys think those things that need fixing will take a lot of work / money? If so, how much?

2. I still like the boat, but I do not want to pay $12K for it if that is indeed the value of the boat and considering I will need to spend quite a bit of time to get her into my standards. I'm thinking to put a lower post survey offer in now, how much do you think would be good? I'm thinking $8,500, is that even too high?


Any other comments appreciated

Kacper

Last edited by Kacper; 03-09-2007 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 03-09-2007
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Ok, there's two ways to look at it. One, make an offer based on you fixing the problems, or two, make an offer based on the owner bringing it up to code. Either way, you would want to get an estimate of the repairs, as part of your decision. There's nothing there that would be that hard to fix if you are at all handy with tools. For instance, the cabin heater doesn't actually have to come out, just be disconnected from the propane. You pull out the old propane line to the stove, and have a new one made up. The LPG switch is actually a switch and a solenoid. The solenoid goes in the propane locker, and then the switch where it is convienent. You'll have two wires coming from the solenoid, one to negative, and one to the switch, then two from the switch, again, one to negative and one to a hot lead (with inline fuse). Nav lights shouldn't be too difficult either, if the wiring is okay.
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Old 03-09-2007
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Kacper-

If the surveyor says it has a fair market value of $7,800 and your offer was $12,000... you're paying way too much.

I doubt that the seller will be very happy if you drop your offer by 30%, considering that most of the survey results are relatively inexpensive repairs.

Propane heater removal, upgraded hose, propane solenoid installation are really all one issue. You can do it... or pay someone to install all of it, but it isn't all that expensive over all.

Batteries should probably be properly secured in a battery box with a lid. Cost of new batteries and proper battery box depends on the number of batteries and size.

Fire extinguishers and flares are just USCG safety items and you should probably get new when you buy a boat... don't trust the PO to have maintained them. SOLAS grade offshore kit is $280. I don't recommend getting the USCG, since the SOLAS flares are significantly better. Small set of fire extinguishers is probably $50 or so.

VHF radio... get a DSC-ready one. A decent one is about $270 for a really nice Icom M504 with fog and hailer. New antenna is about $45 or so.

Navigation lights... get LED-based ones...they're a bit more expensive, but they'll be cheaper in the long run and lower maintenance. A tricolor/anchor light is $350, bicolor and stern light is probably $650 for the two lights.
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Old 03-09-2007
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Hey Kacper ! Congratulations...welcome to poverty

I am sure that you'll get a lot of info, but I'll throw in my two cents...

1. Propane heater has to be taken out. Too dangerous and wouldnt get insurance.

Take it out - not an issue unless you are planning on living on it. YOu can put one in later - properly vented with sniffers and solenoids etc.


2. New navigation lights(the old ones are out of date and would not get insurance coverage for the boat with just those ones)

This may or may not be the case - a lot of insurers are going to write your policy over the phone - they won't see the boat, and will insure it as is pending upgrades. You will have to replace them eventually - not hard to do - figure $300 to do it nicely

3. electric LPG switch for propane stove has to be implemented, right now it's just a screw off/on for the propane tank that controls the whole propane deal

Important - but not hard to do. A complete control system sells for about $350.00 at Defender. You can install it as long as you follow the directions properly.

4. Propane hose from the tank to the stove has to be replaced with an adequate rubber hose, the current one isn't meant for propane.

$50 and a half hour - part of number 3 above

5. Batteries don't have socks to cover the diodes. And they are just automotive batteries, not marine batteries, they are also not tied down properly.

I would go so far as to say that at least half of the boats sailing right now have car batteries in them rather than marine batteries. Upgrade when you can afford it. Tie downs are about $20 and maybe two hours to install.

6. Needs new fire-extinguishers

$200.00 or thereabouts for 2 decent ones - check out Defender, or you can go to a hardware store...

7. Needs a flare kit

You are going to have to buy one of these every few years - might as well start now...

8. Needs to VHF radio. Current one works but really old and has a car spaker wired to it to be able to work(the previous owner was a bit of a "do it myself handi- man)

Get an inexpensive handheld one for about $150.00

So that's it.

Now, the surveyor's main comments were "You're paying way too much for this boat" After he checked the market data, he came up with a fair market value of $7,800 for the boat. My intial offer was $12,000


My questions:

1. Do you guys think those things that need fixing will take a lot of work / money? If so, how much?

See above

2. I still like the boat, but I do not want to pay $12K for it if that is indeed the value of the boat. I'm thinking to put a lower post survey offer in now, how much do you think would be good? I'm thinking $8,500, is that even too high?

Start low. Get actual prices for the necessary upgrades. Look at Yachtworld and a couple of other sites to see what people are listing for...same boat/year...deduct 25% and that should give you a reasonable estimate of what they are actually selling for.

Is it in line with what your surveyor says ? If so, then yes - you take his value and you deduct the cost of the propane upgrades and the nav light upgrades from you offer. If he won't sell then keep looking.

If you surveyor's estimate seems low, then find out how familiar he is with your segment of the market. Ask around, ask him, whatever...if he usually surveys 100 foot diesel yachts, he might be a bit out of touch with smaller sailboats...

Good Luck - Keep posting !!
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Old 03-09-2007
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The good news is that nothing that you list is much more than normal maintenance. Replacing the propane gear is obviously the highest priority and should be done using only marine parts. As for price, you can get good quotes from any online site. I'd suggest using westmarine.com. Their prices will be the highest but that will give you some bargaining room. Unless you're handy, you should have the work done by a competent yard. Assume about $70/hr. Basically, think each repair through and estimate how long it would take you to do a first class job (in hours). Then double it and multiply by $70. Add in the cost of materials and double that too. Subtract the combined costs from your original bid and then reduce it 10% more. As a cross check, get sample vaues from yachcouncil.com, boatus.com or any number of online sites for a similar Catalina. Even though the asking prices are higher than the sell prices, you'll get a good idea of the market value of the boat. Since the surveyor looks at LOTS of boats I'd take his advice seriously.

Good luck! Your surveyor's list is not bad....you should have seen mine - it went for pages, but I'm glad that we bought "Victoria" and she's (now) an awesome boat.
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Old 03-09-2007
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The real problem is the 'value" of the boat. Everything probably could be fixed for a grand or two at most by a professional. (Much less if you follow PB's solutions and do it yourself.)
Problem is that your contract says $12k...so you can't say...it's not worth that cause you already agreed it was. Your choices as I see them are as follows:
1. Walk away and eat the cost of the haul and survey. This is legitmate if you say you were not aware of the problems and don't want to go forward since the contract is "subject to survey"

2. Offer $10K and take on the fix of the problems youself. You can legitimately say that you will walk away rather than pay $12K for a boat with the problems found. If you love the boat and it is otherwise in great shape, this may be high...but not "bad".

The one option I would not take is letting him make the fixes and paying $12K. The pictures looked like it was in much better tha average condition but I guess they were taken a while ago. The good news is that even if you walk away...you've learned some stuff and there are LOTS more C27s on the market. Good luck!
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Old 03-09-2007
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Just looked at the 27's on Yachtworld...my gut is that you are paying too much...unless the boat is in really great shape...

Have a couple of questions - how long did your surveyor spend at the boat ? At least two hours ? Did he check out the hull and deck with a little tap hammer ? What else did he do ? The reason I ask is that it seems a little unusual for a survey to come up that clean - ie, no moisture issues anywhere on a 30 year old boat sounds a bit unlikely...especially if the PO put in a VHF with a car speaker ... I would take that as an indication that he might not have been the most careful and conscientious in the maintnenance department...
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Old 03-09-2007
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Cam-

Thanks for the very succinct summary of his choices..
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Old 03-09-2007
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Old 03-09-2007
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Offer him what the boat surveyed for. I bet you get it.
Its exciting isnt it
Be careful right now is the time to be real calm no use spending any extra needlessly. This is why you get surveys they can save you alot of money.
And trust me its going to cost you a lot more than 12,000 DId the survey include a haul out?
Hope it all works out for you.

Hey Cam. IF its dependent on the survey it still works both ways right. if the survey said yes on 12 you would proceed but it didnt now the origanal offer is void Right?
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